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Monday, February 6, 2012

Got Shopper's Euphoria? The Science Behind it...

Like a kid in a candy shop!  |  (image source)
Well, February 5 was Super Bowl Sunday here in the States. And for everyone international reading this, it's the day when Americans splurge on pizza, chips and soda - hooray healthiness in America! - while watching the big game...American Football, that is. Anyway, it was two hours before the game would begin at 6:00pm (Eastern Standard Time) and I was kinda feeling bored...

I noticed a pile a of old Teen Vogue magazines and decided I'd flip through some. It must be noted that Teen Vogue has ever rarely even mentioned Abercrombie & Fitch within its pages. Hollister has been included more than three times and a Gilly Hicks clothing item was once featured. Near the end of the April 2007 issue (featuring actress Willa Holland on the cover) is a short, but interesting article - 'Big Spenders' written by Alison Griffin - which discusses the euphoria one feels after making a purchase and why one may be compelled to spend merely because of that desired feeling.

Answer honestly to yourself: how awesome does it feel to purchase goods at Abercrombie or Hollister or Gilly? Quite awesome, right? Specially when you get to strut about the shopping center knowing you've payed - literally! - the coolest shop on the block a little visit. Your purchased goods look good, feel good, and smell great - FIERCE! - and it gets to your head...

The neurotransmitter 'dopamine' in your brain influences emotional response and provides your consciousness with the ability to experience pleasure; it's dopamine which washes over your senses with euphoria bringing you that awesome feeling when making your purchase. Add to that the sensory retail environment which the A&F brands provide - the fragrance smell, in particular - and image of "cool" projected by shopping there and you've got yourself a consumer's high! You love it and you know you do!

Furthermore, this can turn you into an "obsessive" shopper. You just have to shop at Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister or Gilly Hicks. And it gets even more intense when you see items on discount because they're such a great deal (you think), and so you must buy. You enjoy the feeling, and it is a feeling which you want to experience over and over and over again. This more so affects the more fanatic A&F brand shopper and is in turn to blame for your intense fanaticism. I've even seen people poke their faces inside the bags - I myself am culprit! - because the senses are euphorically stimulated to the point of near ecstasy. Again, something which affects the fanatic more so than the standard walk-in customer into the shops.

So there you have it. An insight into what causes your addiction (if it is you have one), or mere enjoyment of purchasing at Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, or Gilly Hicks. You see the goods, you smell the goods, you feel them...and hand over to make the transaction...what an incredible feeling. Enjoy your visits to the stores, but to exercise a little self-control is most probably wise, my friends!

Stay FIERCE!